Gay activists contend there are only seven scriptures that address homosexuality in the Bible and therefore homosexual behavior is insignificant in scripture. Gay activists also contend that theologians have misinterpreted the seven scriptures. The seven main scriptures are the Genesis account of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19), the Mosaic Law in Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13, the letter by Jude verse 7, and the Apostle Paul’s letters in Romans 1:26-7, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, and 1 Timothy 1:9-10.
Gay activists like to point out that none of these scripture references are in the first four books of the New Testament that record the direct teachings of Jesus. The gay argument is that since Jesus never mentioned homosexual behavior, it should not be considered immoral. That argument lacks any merit when one realizes that Jesus never mentioned bestiality either (humans having sexual relations with animals another aberrant sexual orientation). Using the same gay logic would imply that a human having sex with an animal is not immoral behavior. Bestiality is listed as a sin in the Mosaic Law right after male homosexuality in Leviticus 18:23. Male homosexual behavior and bestiality are the only immoral sexual behaviors listed in Leviticus 18 that include the adjectives of “detestable” and “perversion.” The gay insignificant argument also fails the test on the bestiality comparison because there are even less scriptures that address humans having sex with animals.
Leviticus 18:22 explicitly states, “Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman: that is detestable.” (NIV) Gay theology argues that the type of homosexual behavior condemned in Leviticus does not include homosexuals in loving and consensual relationships. This gay argument is also without merit when one studies the content of Leviticus 18. Most of Leviticus 18 condemns various close relative and incestuous heterosexual relationships. The author of Leviticus condemns fourteen heterosexual relationships between close relatives and no homosexual incestuous relationships. The obvious reason Leviticus 18 does not list homosexual close relative relationships is because verse 22 condemns all homosexual behavior.
Other arguments put forth by gay theology are that the word for homosexual has been misinterpreted in the passages of the Apostle Paul’s letters; God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah not because homosexual behavior was prevalent in those communities, but because its citizens were inhospitable and sought to rape the male visitors; and the close friendships between Jonathon and David in the Old Testament as well as Jesus and the Apostle John in the New Testament were actually homosexual relationships. The key to all these arguments is still found in Leviticus 18. If Leviticus 18 condemns all homosexual behavior, which I believe it clearly does, these other gay arguments have no foundation for their devious assertions.
Once homosexual behavior is established biblically as sexual immorality along with adultery, close family heterosexual relationships, and bestiality, a host of other biblical scriptures apply to homosexual behavior. The Apostles gave four firm requirements to the non-Jewish Christians in the early church, “to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality.” (Acts 15:20 NIV) The Apostle Paul wrote, “Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.” (1 Corinthians 6:18 NIV) In his letter to the Ephesians Paul wrote, “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.” (Ephesians 5:3 NIV) There are many other New Testament verses with similar instructions to avoid sexual immorality.
I was discussing these issues on homosexuality with an independent filmmaker in Houston, when she said, “I don’t care if people engage in homosexual behavior in their private quarters.” I was taken back a bit, because I knew I did care and didn’t care at the same time. I was also unclear what she implied by her statement. I had to think that statement through, and out of that thought process came a good example of how Christians need to be prepared to intelligently address issues of homosexuality.
My confusion and a lot of the confusion on issues of homosexuality stem from the fact that in America’s structured society there are different spheres of authority where behavior is subject to scrutiny. I find three distinct spheres where society views homosexual behavior from different perspectives a medical sphere, a civil law sphere, and a theological or moral sphere. As one who has studied all three of these spheres, I tend to view homosexual issues differently depending on which sphere of authority they pertain to.
To illustrate this concept I am going to give my viewpoints on the filmmakers comment from these three structural spheres. From a medical viewpoint I do not care if two or three or four people engage in consensual homosexual behavior in private quarters, although I have apprehension that they may harm themselves or others. Some of the people engaging in that behavior may have unhealed emotional wounds from their same-sex parent and the behavior might be an attempt to repair that wound. Some may be carrying a sexually transmitted disease. I am not their medical doctor, their psychologist, their psychiatrist, or their close relative, so medically it is none of my business, but as a Christian I should have enough compassion to not want to see these individuals get AIDS or continue in behavior that will deepen their emotional wounds.
From a civil law viewpoint consensual homosexual sex in private quarters is not an infraction of civil law, so from that viewpoint I have no reason to care if people engage in that type of behavior. Sodomy used to be illegal. When it was illegal one could have been concerned that this consensual behavior was breaking the law, and even now some believe that sodomy, like prostitution, should be against the law. On another level as a Christian I care greatly if the civil law tells school children that consensual homosexual relationships are as desirable as heterosexual relationships and equivalent to marriage between one man and one woman, because those types of laws intentionally oppose my Christian moral beliefs.
From a theological viewpoint Christians should be concerned for people who engage in consensual homosexual behavior, because according to biblical scripture it will keep them out of heaven. The Apostle Paul reiterates that warning in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11. In direct contrast to the warning is the desire of God to not want “anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9) Followers of God should not want anyone to perish either. For those who are not familiar with this Christian terminology and message, one inherits eternal life (heaven) with Jesus upon repentance of their sins, turning away from sinful behavior, and choosing to follow Jesus. When one refuses to repent of sinful behavior and disregard God’s promise through Jesus, they are destined to perish (hell). Jesus talked about heaven and hell many times referring to hell as a place “where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” To the Christian either heaven or hell represent each individuals eternal destiny.
The simple statement by the filmmaker had many interpretations and implications. For example, a moral liberal would state that they do not care if people engage in consensual homosexual sex in private quarters because they believe consensual homosexual sex is moral behavior. A libertarian could make the same statement and not care if the behavior was moral or immoral, because their main principle is personal freedom. A conservative could make the same statement also and in a mean spirited way imply that they don’t care if that person gets AIDS from their sexual behavior, because they are responsible for their own actions. A Christian could also make the same statement in a callous way and imply that they don’t care if people who engage in consensual homosexual behavior go to hell or get AIDS, because they deserve “the due penalty for their perversion.” (Romans 1:27)
As a Christian I do not identify with any of the four interpretations presented of the filmmakers statement. From my Christian viewpoint, although I agree American society gives people the civil right to engage in consensual homosexual sex in private places, I do care that people engage in this behavior, because ultimately I do not want them to go to hell or to harm themselves or to harm others.